FREECHEX "Makes Gas Checks"


February 6, 2011, 10:05 PM
I was checking out e-bay and cane across this punch system that makes gas checks from alunimum sheeting(flashing). I checked you-tube and there vedio feed on them but have come to appreciate the imput of you all on matters like these.

Gas checks out of alunimum, is that even good for the bore of any rifle, I know lead can be a problem at high pressure leading a barrel but what about this can aluminum gum up the lands and grooves too.

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February 6, 2011, 10:31 PM
There are two people making gas check dies, the one you found on ebay, and Pat Green, the owner of West Coast Engineering. Both are capable of making gas checks from aluminum or copper.

Here is a discussion on the subject:

Some people have shot thousands of rifle rounds using aluminum gas checks and haven't had a problem. I prefer copper foil .010" thick for my gas checks, using Pat's Checkmaker die.

Hope this helps.


February 6, 2011, 10:32 PM
They work well. It may take some experimenting to determine the correct thickness for the check material. That is also an advantage when your mold is a little fat in the gas check area.

I bought mine when gas checks were in short supply. Seldom use it anymore except for one fat mold.

I don't think soft Al will hurt your barrel.

February 7, 2011, 12:26 PM
My only fear would be the possibility of aluminium oxide forming on the outer surface of the gas check.
As we all know aluminium oxide is very hard and is used in grinding wheels and sandpaper. The bending that takes place when a gascheck is formed would expose fresh aluminium for oxides to form. Unless some type of lube or oxide prevention is applied, I would worry about the sandpaper effects of the bullet grinding away a good barrel. I'm sure it would take alot to ruin a barrel, but I'm not sure it would be wise to do them out of aluminum.

Jimmy K

February 7, 2011, 01:40 PM
ReloaderFred - I've cast bullets in several calibers, but I've never used gas checks so I have a couple of questions.

1 - Can I use gas checks with the Lee molds that I already have?

2 - Do you have a link for Pat Green's West Coast Engineering?


February 7, 2011, 04:07 PM
Only use gas checks for bullets from molds made for gas checks.

February 7, 2011, 04:13 PM
I prefer copper but it's hard to find in the thickness variations that aluminum comes in.

My bullets seldom sit around long enough for the gas check to oxidize :) I'm sure that some lube gets on them as they go through the sizer. That stuff gets everywhere!

Here's Pat's website:

February 7, 2011, 05:13 PM

Yes, you can use gas checks on plain base bullets, but they have to be the proper checks. The only ones I know of are the self made gas checks just for that purpose, using Pat's Plain Base Gas Check Maker die. He has designed a tool to make a gas check specifically for plain base bullets and the reports coming back are all good, with some people reporting better accuracy.

I'm waiting for my .35 and .44 Plain Base Dies now. I'll be using the .010" thick copper foil for my gas checks, as that has worked well with Pat's die for bullets designed to use gas checks, so that will be what I'll be trying first.

This where I ordered my copper foil from:

Whenever ordering copper for use in gas checks, make sure it's annealed "dead soft", since hardened copper tears when punched. The same holds true for aluminum.

Hope this helps.


February 7, 2011, 09:56 PM
Thanks again Fred. I'll check back after I get the goodies and experiment a bit, but it might be a while.

As of right now, I'm on a mission!

February 12, 2011, 10:59 PM
With all the experiances of the people in this forum, Ill get-er done right the first time, thanks all for the info.

February 13, 2011, 03:10 PM
I just buy Hornady "crimp on" gas checks. Consistent, the same each time, and not that expensive. Then I buy molds made to accept them.

Fred, I just don't see forcing a gas check on a plain base bullet can be good for it. The base would HAVE to be swaged to accept the check, how is that done in such a way so as to NOT deform it? The base of a bullet is THE most important aspect of the accuracy of a bullet. Deform it in an inconsistent way, you'll have fits trying to develop accurate loads.

February 13, 2011, 03:52 PM

It's being done with Pat's Plain Base gas checks, and everyone who has used them is reporting improved accuracy. They're using both copper and aluminum for their checks.

My assumption is the check is providing a more uniform base, since it's swaged to the bullet when it's sized and the punch is flat. I'll know more once I receive my dies for both .35 and .44 calibers.

At this point, all I can do is refer you to Pat's website and the explanations given there, along with the testimonials. There are ample posts on the subject at

Hope this helps.


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